Who knew that when I wrote a post asking if you started your day off with a hot cup of plastic, that the world of coffee-loving foodies would be turned upside down.
Back then, I was just starting this real food adventure and was shocked to find seriously unhealthy ingredients in something as innocent as coffee creamer.
There are new brands and lines of coffee creamer on the market nowadays touting “natural flavors” and whatnot, but my stance hasn’t changed.
The US Food & Drug Administration’s labeling requirements to use the phrase “natural favors” is still very broad. Honestly, my internal red flags go up when I buy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer and neither pumpkin nor spice is listed as ingredients.
Besides natural flavors, there are other ingredients you should be leery of too in your coffee creamer. Specifically, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.
Hydrogenated oils are also known as trans fat, and for awhile now the FDA has known trans fat is not healthy for the human body. It wasn’t until 2015 though, when the FDA finally made the decision that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer generally recognized as safe either.
Despite these rulings, there are loopholes that allow hydrogenated oils to be in your food, including your coffee creamer.
High fructose corn syrup is created in a factory using a 7-step process to convert corn into a sweetener. In the conversion process, strains of bacteria known to cause anthrax, food poisoning and used as a pesticide are added to the starch. The end results is a 90% concentration of fructose.
For comparison purposes, honey is roughly 37% fructose.
Even if you find a coffee creamer that doesn’t contain either of these two ingredients, it probably contains one of these:
- Corn syrup
- Artificial flavor (which could be anything)
- Artificial color (again, which could be anything)
AND STILL if your coffee creamer doesn’t contain these, I’m guessing it cost an arm and a leg.
Friends, there is a better option.
After I weaned myself off coffee creamer and Splenda, I learned to enjoy coffee with just milk and no sweetener (this took me a few years – it didn’t happen overnight!).
Every now and then though, I get a craving for something a little fancier. I like to make vanilla bean coffee creamer and indulge myself now and then, especially in the winter.
But in the fall, my body craves everything pumpkin. For me, that means coming up with a pumpkin spice coffee creamer that tastes as good – if not better – than the store-bought.
Which means, in the creation of this recipe, I did buy a container of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. I confess. I did it.
I thought that if I was going to share a homemade pumpkin spice coffee creamer recipe, it HAD to taste like the real thing and it HAD to be amazing.
Oh, and it is!!
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
First, this recipe actually contains REAL pumpkin.
Second, it contains REAL spices!
Third, it’s just like kind you buy at the store! The key to making that happen is the combination of whole milk and cream.
Note – I did not say skim milk or half-and-half or 2% milk or all cream or anything else.
Can you substitute with those? Of course! Substituting with what you have is one of the foundations I teach in my course Grocery Budget Bootcamp.
You’ll still have a pretty good tasting creamer if you substitute, but it won’t be the same as the kind in the store.
For some of you, it won’t matter. You’re flexible and used to various kitchen experiments (both good and bad!).
For others, this is a big deal. You thrive off routine and that includes store-bought coffee creamer in your coffee.
I hear you diehard fans, and I know your struggle. I was once in your shoes too, buying a quart of coffee creamer each week.
In fact, Mr. Crumbs and I used to take turns picking out which flavors to buy. He always picked Irish Cream. I always picked whatever was in season (which drove him crazy!!).
You can rest assure that when I say this homemade pumpkin spice coffee creamer is just like store-bought, because it is!
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat, stirring often with a flat whisk as it cools to prevent scalding of the milk and burning of the sugars.